Pretrial Intervention Programs
Being arrested is a very stressful experience, especially if it’s the first time. A night or two in jail can be extremely traumatic. But it doesn’t have to ruin the rest of your life. There are options to avoid lengthy jail time and a permanent criminal record.
Florida has a variety of Pre-Trial Intervention programs (PTI) offered through the Office of the State Attorney in lieu of going to court. The programs are offered for first-time offenders or other low-risk offenders who meet certain criteria. Basically, it is an alternative to the criminal court system. Instead of filing criminal charges, the State Attorney will let the person complete a PTI program. There are adult and juvenile programs. Duval County also has drug and mental health courts which operate in a similar fashion. These programs act like an informal type of probation. There are special conditions to complete depending on the nature of the charge(s). Some conditions could be community service hours, anger management classes, paying restitution, or drug/alcohol treatment. The State Attorney will drop the charges once the person successfully completes all the terms of the PTI program. If the person does not complete, then there will be formal charges filed in the criminal court system.
If you are innocent, you may want to fight the charges in court. But that is a risk. If you are convicted, you will have a permanent record and maybe get jail time. It may not seem fair, but PTI programs are a great way to guarantee that your case will go away.
The attorneys at Dale Carson Law have been successful in getting clients into appropriate programs. It is a smart idea to accept the program if it is offered. It is the quickest and easiest way to guarantee that your case will be dropped. Once charges are dropped, you may be eligible to have your record sealed and/or expunged.